Hollywood execs are faced with more Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance complexities than most employers because industry employment is largely project based, characterized by its unions, co-employment relationships and multi-employer plans. As a result, they are grappling to understand their obligations and exposure under the ACA employer mandate. To help meet the challenges of the transient, non-union production community, payroll and production services company Entertainment Partners (EP) has launched EP Cares – a transferable health plan for the entertainment industry that complies with ACA requirements.
After months of extensive research and analysis of ACA requirements, EP selected service partners, Lockton Companies and Anthem Blue Cross, to deliver EP Cares medical, dental, vision and life insurance plans.
“Compliance with the ACA is a highly-complex endeavor that is only compounded by the specific needs of the film and television production workforce that moves from one production to another,” explained EP president and CEO Mark Goldstein. “We have assembled the most qualified resources to create a ready-made solution so the myriad of production entities won’t have to navigate this maze on their own and risk exposure to hefty penalties for non-compliance.
The EP Cares plan enables production workers to use an online decision tool to analyze multiple plan options and select the one that best suits their particular needs. The coverage is transferable so that production personnel may carry the same plan with the same doctors and in many instances, the same contribution rates, across participating production companies.
For companies using EP’s payroll services, EP can deduct workers’ share of the premium directly from their paychecks.
“As a result of ACA, the medical insurance marketplace has become highly volatile and increasingly complex,” said Lissa Thomson, senior vice president of Lockton’s Pacific employee benefits operations. “This single carrier platform offers a highly efficient process to provide quality benefits at the lowest possible cost. Combined with state-of-the-art technology, EP Cares leverages the purchasing power of non-union production workforce pooling.”
Although the Treasury Department recently announced an extension of the employer mandate until January 2015, many production entities are opting to begin their compliance in January 2014. “Many production companies are looking to 2014 as the time to ensure their insurance, data management and reporting systems are in place, running correctly and meeting all ACA requirements prior to the official employer mandate deadline,” said EP senior vice president and chief labor counsel, Joseph Scudiero.
For more information, visit EP’s ACA compliance center at www.entertainmentpartners.com/aca.